Estate Mars Hill – Animal Mill

Mars Hill is estate 22 in St. Croix’s West End Quarter. Based on appearances on historic maps, the animal mill was likely built in the mid 1750s.

Cotton is indicated being grown on the 1750 map in estate 22. The animal mill was likely built in the mid-1750s second printing of the Beck map. All the later variants of the Beck map included an animal mill. The 1766 annotated Beck map and unsigned manuscript copy both had 2 animal mills, one in the north and one in the south. The 1778 and 1799 Oxholm maps include an animal mill at Mars hill in the northern half of estate 22. None of the subsequent maps indicate structures in the area.

Ownership attribution in 1750 is to Paul Vaughan in the north and Johan Barnsbee in the south. The Beck variants present similar ownership notations, with minor spelling variations. The Oxholm map of 1778 attributes ownership to Paul Vaughan in the north and Madame Barns in the south, similar to the 1790s maps.

McGuire geographic dictionary of the Virgin Islands (p. 125-6) notes the estate also called The Oval. In the 1920s, the estate mostly in sugar cane with some pasture.

Historic Maps of Mars Hill

Snippet of the U.S. Geological Service topographic map 1982 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1982 USGS topo map does not indicate any ruins at Mars Hill.
Snippet of the U.S. Geological Service topographic map of 1958 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1958 USGS topo map does not indicate any ruins at Mars Hill.
Snippet of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey topographic map of 1920 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1920 USCGS topographic map shows no structures at Mars Hill.
Snippet of the Danish Atlantic Islands Association map of 1907 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1907 map indicates no settlement in the area of estate 22.
Snippet of the Parsons map of 1856 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
Parsons’ 1856 map depicts no structures in the area of Mars Hill.
Snippet of the Oxholm map of 1799 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
Oxholm’s 1799 map shows an animal mill in the center of 22a, Mars hill.
Snippet of the Janssen map of 1791 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1791 manuscript map after Beck by Janssen attributes ownership to Vaughn (N) & Barns (S) for estate 32.
Snippet of the Mühlenfels map of 1790featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1790 map after Beck by Mühlenfels map attributes ownership to Vaughn (N) & Barns (S) for estate 32.
Snippet of the Oxholm map of Frederiksted from 1778 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
Oxholm’s 1778 map of Frederiksted shows an animal mill and other structures in the norther half of the estate. Ownership attributed to Paul Vaughan in the north and Madame Barns in the south.
Snippet of the annotated Beck map of c.1770 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The c.1770 annotated Beck map illustrates an animal mill and attributes ownership to Paul Vaughan & Joh H. Barns.
Snippet of the annotated Beck map of 1770 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1770 annotated Beck map illustrates an animal mill and attributes ownership to Vaughan & Joh Henr Barns.
Snippet of the undated annotated Beck map featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The undated annotated Beck map illustrates an animal mill and attributes ownership to Paul Vaughan & John H. Barns.
Snippet of the annotated Beck map of 1767 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1767 annotated Beck map illustrates an animal mill and attributes ownership to Paul Vaughan & John H. Barns.
Snippet of the Küffner map of 1767 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
Küffner’s 1767 Beck replica includes an indication of settlement in the area of estate 22.
Snippet of the Zöllner manuscript copy of Beck from 1766 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1766 Zöllner manuscript copy of Beck map illustrates an animal mill and attributes ownership to Paul Vaughan & J H Barns.
Snippet of the 1766 unsigned Beck manuscript copy featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1766 unsigned manuscript copy of Beck map illustrates an animal mill and attributes ownership to Johann & JH Barens.
Snippet of the annotated Beck map of 1766 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The 1766 annotated Beck map illustrates two animal mills and attributes ownership to P. Waughan & J.H. Barns.
Snippet of the Beck map printed circa 1757 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The second Beck map printing shows an animal mill near the center of estate 22.
Snippet of the Beck map printed in 1754 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
The first Beck map printing shows no structures in estate 22.
Snippet of the Cronenberg and von Jaegersberg map of 1750 featuring West End Quarter estate #22, currently named Mars Hill.
By 1749, cotton is being grown in the estate, evidenced by the blue coloring. A plantation house in the northeastern corner of the estate and another in the southeastern corner has a slave village depicted to the east. Ownership attributed to Paul Vauhern and Johan Ramsbee.